Dr. Alex Joffe

Dr. Alex Joffe

Dr. Alex Joffe

Alex Joffe (Ph.D. University of Arizona). Specializes in ancient and modern Middle Eastern studies, American foreign policy, and American cultural politics.

The Antisemitism Crisis in the Democratic Party

| March 20, 2019

The Democratic Party has been overtaken by an antisemitism crisis, a process of ”Corbynization” akin to that of the British Labour Party. The process’s three principal proponents, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, personify three components – socialism, Palestinianism, and Islamism – given impunity by the concept of “intersectionality.” The trajectory of their red-green alliance is leading the Democratic Party towards socialism. For American Jews, this means their deep allegiance to the Democratic Party over many generations has been rewarded with abandonment and suspicion. For Israel, there is the prospect of a future Democratic administration that advocates its destruction. For the rest of the world, the party’s severe inward turn portends global retreat.

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The Failure of Palestinian Nationalism

| March 10, 2019

The Warsaw Conference demonstrated that the popularity of the Palestinian cause continues to decline, suggesting that Palestinian nationalism has failed. Historically, the positive elements of Palestinian nationalism have been offset by its negative features, including reliance on antisemitism and negation of the Other. Pressures from above, in the form of Arab and Islamic identities, and tribal and clan pressures from below have impeded the development of a stable national identity. At the same time, strong state security institutions protect elites while weak social welfare institutions create dependence, mostly on foreign aid. While continued development of the Palestinian economy is encouraging, the contradictions of Palestinian nationalism are not easily resolved.

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Americans’ Two Conceptions of Israel

and | February 19, 2019

While the Trump presidency has forced clarity in the US on many domestic and foreign policy issues, the status of Israel in American politics and culture reveals different visions of America itself. One, for lack of a better term, is traditionally American. The other is decidedly “progressive.” But according to both, Israel is mythical and outsized.

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Explaining the Trump Doctrine

| December 18, 2018

The Trump administration’s transactional doctrine appears to be based on Donald Trump’s personality and experiences, not on abstract theory about the behavior of states. According to that doctrine, successful relationships can be had with countries that share views regarding mutual benefit. Trump tramples norms that his predecessor, Barack Obama, sought to reinforce for the benefit of the international system and its servants. Obama’s doctrine, like Trump’s, was an emanation of his own personality.

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Supporting Faculty on Israel: Now More than Ever

and | December 16, 2018

The on-campus boycott, divest, and sanctions movement (BDS) has benefited greatly from the normalizing of anti-Semitism in the US and around the world. The American university is now in many instances a toxic environment for both students and faculty who have an open mind about Israel. Those faculty who risk their jobs, tenure, and grant funding to speak openly on Israel’s behalf need support now more than ever.

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As the US Cuts Funding, UNRWA Employees Flee Gaza

and | October 25, 2018

It does not matter that UNRWA employees would never dream of breaking the code of silence regarding Hamas’s use of UNRWA facilities or UNRWA’s hiring of terrorists. They were forced to flee for their lives anyway for the cardinal sin of having failed to keep American money coming in.

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Palestinians, You Don’t Have to Live Like Refugees

and | October 2, 2018

President Trump is right to defund UNRWA, whose anti-Israel propaganda undermines efforts to make peace.

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The Logic of the West’s New Anti-Semitism Crisis

| September 23, 2018

The anti-Semitism crises exploding in the British Labour Party and threatening to erupt in the US Democratic Party have complex sources in both the elites and the middle class. These include the logic of socialism, which opposes Jewish difference; rejection of the nation-state, which Jews still embrace; and conventional nineteenth-century beliefs in Jewish greed and conspiracies. Post-colonial guilt has also led to multiculturalism and societal self-mortification through Muslim mass immigration, which has enormously exacerbated anti-Semitism and terrorism. The trends in Europe and Britain portend negative changes in the US for Jews and Israel.

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The Anti-Israel Effort Intensifies in Politics and On Campus

| September 11, 2018

Anti-Semitism continues to be aggressively promoted in the guise of anti-Israelism in two highly influential arenas: politics, particularly in Britain; and on campus. In the US, the BDS movement is doing all it can to ostracize Jewish students.

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Palestinian Sovereignty after Abbas

| July 13, 2018

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’s recent illnesses have again raised the matter of his successor. This brewing issue highlights contradictory aspects of Palestinian political culture. The leaders create chaos and then blackmail Western powers in exchange for containment of the unrest. Their next step is to internationalize the conflict by demanding unconditional support. Both tactics create dependency and fundamentally undermine Palestinian sovereignty. Trusteeship schemes for the West Bank illustrate the pattern of dysfunction. Only a concept of Palestinian sovereignty free of blackmail and internationalization would allow for a successful state, but this is thwarted by the concept of Palestinian national honor, which demands a return to an imaginary status quo ante.

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